Tuesday, November 02, 2010

MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon (1984)


Myles Hunter (ex Avalon Canada), bassist Martyn Jones and guitarist Rob Kennedy founded MICHAEL FURY (named after a character in James Joyce's short story, "The Dead") in 1979.
They did the predictable round of club gigs throughout Canada until split up in 1983.

Hunter met keyboard wiz Howard Helm (ex Zon) one year later and start to play with him the songs he has been written. Together decided to call Kennedy and Jones back, and with the addition of drummer Dave Mihal reform MICHAEL FURY.
An initial demo was picked up by a local small label and the result is "Affairs In Babylon", released in 1984.

MICHAEL FURY toured constantly throughout the country, but they began getting an identity crisis as people mistook the group name 'Michael Fury' for Myles Hunter himself.
To compound matters the label tried to push the band as a solo act. This didn't sit well to the group (Hunter included), then a major US label offers a deal to the band and they bought back the rights to the album and signed a new contract.
The disc was re-mixed and re-recorded for the most part, and modified with new songs, "Affairs In Babylon" was re-issued under the band name REFUGEE, with new drummer Brian Doerner (Helix).

As REFUGEE, Hunter & Co. released another album in 1987; "Burning From The Inside Out". Both REFUGEE releases are considered classic '80s AOR gems by the fans of the genre (totally agree).
But let's talk about the MICHAEL FURY album.
For the re-release of "Affairs In Babylon" under the Refugee moniker, 5 tracks were replaced by 5 new ones, and what a new songs!, the best they ever recorded in my opinion, the album is far superior, with an updated remix job and the new tracks getting big production. A classic indeed.

But the original 5 songs are very good too, and that's why I am posting here the original recording. Besides, the MICHAEL FURY album is really hard to find.
The sound is not so 'big' (self produced and mixed), and more direct than lush and polished. According to Hunter, he still prefer some of the original FURY's versions.
To cite an example; 'These Are The Good Times' (later popularized by Eric Martin, but written by Mr. Hunter) has completely different arrangements here.

Maybe not many readers will be interested in this post (Michael who?) because this album version is unknown and rarely mentioned on some specialized rock magazine / website.
You'd be committing a big mistake, since "MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon" it's a collector's item, and contains very good music.
Ripped from vinyl (never released on CD), de-crackled and de-clicked by myself, including artwork.


01 - Affairs In Babylon
02 - Through The Thunder Of Another Night
03 - Pictures And Prints *
04 - There's Gonna Be A Fire Tonight *
05 - These Are The Good Times
06 - (Janie) Here We Go Again +
07 - Hot Words
08 - ... And We All Go Down To The River *
09 - White Wine And Roses *
10 - Love Comes Down *

Tracks marked with * are exclusive to this LP


Myles Hunter : Lead Vocals, Mustang (¿?)
Martyn Jones : Bass Guitar, Vocals
Rob Kennedy : Guitars, Vocals
Howard Helm : Keyboards
Greg Bociek : Keyboards on +
Dave Mihal : Drums
Bear : add. Percussion, Noises & Effects



A COLLECTOR'S ITEM

6 Comments:

1980-F, Germany said...

Hello, camelblue!

Thank you very much for this rarity. I've always been a big fan of the two Refugee albums (especially the first one).

Unfortunately the 2007 CD re-issue of "Affairs in Babylon" finally was only a vinyl rip, because the German label MTM never got a copy of the original tapes. :-(

Just a note: A re-recording of "We All Go Down To The River" was a bonus track on this release. If you don't have this CD issue, let me know.

Best wishes
1980-F

P.S. I know, I still owe you some "Blue Rose". Be patient...

troynew said...

I've had a CD-R of this album and Refugee's 'Affairs...' as a 2 on 1 for ages, also declicked and decrackled if memory serves me right.
But I'm sure you've done a much better job.
Now if only someone would clean up the MTM release (subtle hint) so it would sound like the real deal -- an actual CD release, that is.
For now, thanks for the effort you put into this one.

Camelblue said...

@ 1980-F :
Glad you like it.
To be honest, this isn't one of my best restoring jobs at all.
Done pretty quickly, still many noises can be heard, but it's just fine, audible.
Thanks for the offer, already got the MTM 2005 reissue (as mp3), a real shame, not only full of cracks, the mastering job is muddy and plain normalized.
And yes, Blue Rose... haha. Don't worry, I am like a tibetan monk.

Camelblue said...

@ troynew :
Forget a restoring from the MTM release.
As said above, not only they picked up a wasted vinyl, also gently destroyed the original signal noise peaks (the ones to work on) with a cheap processor, it's unrecoverable.
Maybe if we could find a good vinyl rip...

winston smith said...

This is a very hard album to find. I bought the cassette back when it came out, from one of those stores on Yonge Street that predated HMV. I found a 12" vinyl of Exiles in the Dark a few years back and played that but I really wanted to hear Dream on Anastasia, a song I have not heard for probably 15 years.

Anonymous said...

HI The link seems to be dead. Any chance of fixing this. I would like to hear this

John